Anything can happen over a cup of tea. We find the leading brands advertising it with posh and glamorous appeal bringing in the machos and hotties as ambassadors. 'Tea' - it's a fashion to start your day and relish your evening.
But have we ever thought about the toilsome stories of at least one labor working in the tea plantations? By nature of theory, the laborers are seen depicted in the pictorial representation of smiling faces with baskets to their shoulders. Hardly we have seen their day-to-day lives and Bala again travels into an unexplored arena much alike his previous movie.
Undoubtedly, he has been the only exceptional filmmaker to come up with avant-garde showpieces. His films are shockingly repellant for the few, who just want to kill their time in theatres watching ludicrous commercial entertainers. But what remains as an undeniable fact is his punch of reality in every film he makes.
It's 1939 and the story is set in backdrops of 'Saaloor' village focalizing on the realistic lives of dwellers and their customs. Ottu Porukki aka Rasa (Atharva) earns his livelihood as an announcer with percussions across the lanes and his innocence attracts Angamma (Vedhika), who falls in love apparently. Unbearable to the drought, Rasa moves to the neighboring town for earning and comes across a landlord of tea estates, who vows an efficient job and good pay to all his townsmen and their family with an annual holiday. Hoodwinking them all into deep thinking that he is a genuine person, they all travel more than a month to reach the tea estate vacating their lands. Meanwhile, the intimacy between Rasa and Angamma results in her pregnancy. Elated over this news, he decides to meet her, but is denied with his break from work... The true colors of the landlord is unraveled and the workers are beaten black and blue tortured unceasingly. Rasa comes across a married woman named Maragatham (Dhansika), whose husband left her and their daughter desolated breaking loose from the gruesome landlord. In his attempt to fly the coop for meeting his wife Angamma and newborn son, Rasa is caught red-handed by the henchmen of the landlord and is penalized badly with physical attack. Unbearable harassment of women by Englishmen, deadly plague disease haunting and devilish nature of the landlord - the laborers are ghastly wedged in hell and the drama ends on a shocking note.
(P.S. Mark our words! It will take at least a few hours to get out of the shocking punch in climax....)
Getting on with the performance, what do you expect when an actor is associated with 'Bala' brand. Definitely, he goes through a transition and this time, Atharva-Vedhika-Dhansika combo enjoys this privilege. Oops! If the Reality trailer had created an aversion for Bala, it's time to rethink as the performance level of these artists has reached a greater status. Watch out for the emoting proficiency of Atharva in every frame - he's beyond excellence with his hilarious quotients and emotional outbreaks. No one could have done so much justice to this role. His anguish gestures on missing his sweet soulmate and newborn child leaves tear rolling down our cheeks. It was quite unimaginable about Vedhika signed up for a Bala's film as her trendy looks were far beyond difficulty to be deglamorized. Again, it's a magic by Bala as he molds her up stupendously and the ultimate show-stopper is Dhansika, who exactly fits the role to T.
The others in cast like the villainous landlord and the granny of Atharva are excellent in their performance. The actress in grandma's role tickles your funny bones with her witty lines and is the refreshing factor of Paradesi.
Regardless of the subjects he handles, Bala ensures of a top-notch quality in technical aspects. First things first! Cinematography by Chezhian deserves a standing ovation. You might be spotting SEPIA tone throughout the show, but it's the first time, a film has been captured with the right effects in this tone. If you’re looking out for the best illustrations – the opening shot and the climax one is more than enough for you to get awestruck Much more than the songs, it's background score by GV Prakash that overshadows his previous magnum opus like 'Kireedom' and 'Aayirathil Oruvan'. . Tons of appreciations to this young legend for a remarkable rerecording...
The film might have been missed out of some international film festivals, but if there could be one Indian movie to compete in 'Best Foreign Language' in Oscars, Bala's 'Paradesi' should be the first preference of the Indian Oscars Committee.
Every beating that these artists had in Reality Trailer will apparently win them the same number of awards and there is no doubt about it.
Verdict: The Purest classic of Tamil Cinema till the date.
Review by Richard Mahesh
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